Thankfully, Great Balls of Fire is over now, and we can move on to a more sensibly named WWE Pay-Per-View like Battleground 2017. Oddly though, the main event of Battleground may be sillier than the hard-hitting, fast-paced Brock Lesnar vs. Samoa Joe match for the Universal Title last time. Instead of that epic brawl, we can look forward to something called a Punjabi Prison Match between WWE Champion Jinder Mahal and former champ Randy Orton. It’s a match so bad that it hasn’t been done in 10 years, and Sunday’s PPV is only the third time EVER it has been done.
Before we get to the reason why and the latest odds for this PPV, here’s a quick disclaimer about what betting odds actually mean in the squared circle. If you were betting on athletic ability and physical prowess, you could simply pick the bigger man or woman with the better win to loss ratio. Since it’s all scripted and preordained though, what you are betting on is the WRITERS. They’ve picked a direction for each wrestler, so long odds indicate a winner is certain, while narrow odds mean they (or Vince McMahon) could have a change of heart and throw out the script on Sunday.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, the so-called Punjabi Prison Match looks like a bamboo cage to the naked eye, but in the lore of WWE each bamboo shaft has been “reinforced with steel rod inserts.” Honestly, it’s just a cage they slapped a bamboo veneer onto and gave a silly name to match the lore of former WWE wrestler The Great Khali (who couldn’t even wrestle in the inaugural match as he was medically disqualified). As of this writing, the betting odds have Jinder Mahal as a -333 favorite and Orton a +220 underdog. Since Mahal’s unexpected title win was all part of WWE’s expansion plans for India, and it’s “his” match in format, any line favoring Mahal is a safe bet.
Meanwhile, John Cena (-900) looks to regain the pride of America by beating Rusev (+500) in a “flag match.” Since Rusev laid Cena out on the final SmackDown before the PPV, it’s also a pretty safe bet Cena will get revenge and the win by raising the U.S. flag high. Also, the women’s division will have a Fatal 5-Way to crown a new No. 1 contender to face Naomi. The odds are Charlotte +120 vs. Lana +200 vs. Becky Lynch +230 vs. Tamina +350 vs. Natalya +1000, so there’s no “favorite” per se, but be sure to check the latest odds for any changes before the show Sunday at 7 p.m. (ET).
Other matches of interest for July 23rd are as follows: The New Day -227 vs. champions The Usos +163 for the tag titles, Shinsuke Nakamura -250 vs. Baron Corbin +175 in singles action, and champion AJ Styles -300 vs. Kevin Owens +188 for the United States title. All previews are for entertainment purposes, and if you do bet, please wager only what you can afford. Enjoy Battleground!